EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

August 27, 2011

Tackling Machine

NORTH ANDOVER — Shawn Loiseau is a football player, not a philosopher.

So his gridiron philosophy is as straight forward as his line to the quarterback.

"I go into every single game believing I can make every single tackle," said the Merrimack College senior inside linebacker.

He may not make every single tackle, but sometimes it seems like he does.

Out of the 151 Division 2 teams in the country, nobody last fall had as many solo tackles (75) or solo tackles per game (7.5).

Loiseau was a second-team All-American last year and at last count was a first-teamer on four preseason teams.

Warrior coach John Perry said, "He lives up to the billing. When you watch him play, he dominates. When the St. Anselm coach, Pat Murphy, walked off the field he said, 'No. 10, he's the league MVP, I don't care what anybody says.'"

That was last fall after arguably the greatest game ever turned in by a Warrior defender in the 16-year history of the program.

Loiseau had 10 solo tackles, 8 assists, 3 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and three quarterback hurries.

Although he's 6-1, 245 pounds and set the program record with a 635 pound dead lift, he says his success is much more mental than physical.

"I might not be the strongest, I might not be the fastest, I might not be the smartest, but not one guy will outwork me for 60 minutes," promised the Shrewsbury native.

Perry recalls a play against Stonehill which illustrates that point.

"The kid was an All-American punt returner," began Perry. "Shawn is safety man on the punt return team. This kid is a track star. Shawn didn't have the angle. He stripped the ball at the 6 and we recovered.

"It's just a testament to his motor. He was not going to let this kid score. It was just an awesome play. It was one of the top five I've ever seen in my (19-year) coaching career."

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